Tips to combat misinformation amidst COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread its wings, misinformation and theories about the virus also become more apparent on the social media network.

In fact, studies indicate that most of the internet users have believed in at least one false claim about the COVID-19, while there are many others who are openly sharing the same – enhancing the fear and anxiety amongst the global population.

And despite the urging by the World Health Organization and other authorities, people continue to believe any ‘info’ they receive regarding the health outbreak.

Unfortunately, in these trying times, it is becoming a challenge to differentiate between authentic and false news. Here, we share with you some tips that you can try to minimize your ‘belief’ on the misinformation circulating around the social media network.

Private message

One way to minimize the spread of misinformation is to send the OP a private message, instead of mentioning their incorrect information publicly. This often leads the poster to take down the content discreetly without feeling any kind of embarrassment on a public forum.

Be curious

Often the public mixes up the words of higher authorities and creates a new wave of information. If any content posted by your acquaintances seems dubious, you may want to ask them privately whether their information is checked for accuracy.

Relate to the information

Recently a video clip called ‘Plandemic’ became viral that started a flurry of discussion amongst the social media fanatics. Dr. Ashley Alker, who works in the emergency department created a Twitter thread in this regard where she dismantled many of the false claims made in the video and shared with her network.

Her tactic worked as she put together the pieces of evidence in a simplified material, making it easy for the general audience to understand and relate with.

Lessen the data load

Another health expert says that non-scientist individuals usually consume information via stories, rather than statistics, facts, and graphs. However, if you are aware of a specific news being irrelevant, it is highly suggested to reply to the same with a few authority-backed facts to limit the spread.

Show the facts

Similarly, recent viral news went across the social media where the controversial scientist Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai made false allegations regarding Dr. Anthony Fauci. However, a medical expert shared Ayyadurai’s lack of expertise in infectious disease and immunology – putting an end to the news.

Keep trying

The internet is full of information that tries to create a negative belief about many sensitive topics, especially coronavirus. Unfortunately, we cannot convince everyone regarding the authenticity of each information, while there are many who would continue to be the churner of misinformation, despite the efforts of others trying to flag their content.

In this case, it is best to mute or block the certain person instead of becoming overwhelmed regarding the situation. Social media networks also give the users ability to report such news for professional investigation.

In the end, we recommend that it is best to believe in the information and updates received by the WHO and other credible sources only. Stay safe and remain proactive regarding any news you come across!

Read next: Instant Messaging Users Will Jump To 4.3 Billion This Year, SMS Business Messaging Traffic To Hit 3.5 Trillion Messages In 2020
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